With the announcement that Half-Life 2 will be available September 30, 2003, we took the time to speak with Valve Software’s own Gabe Newell. “Recently we were afforded the privilege of speaking with Gabe Newell, Valve Software’s Managing Director and head of the Half Life 2 project. We fired off a few quick questions to him concerning Source, the engine powering Half Life 2, and what we can expect from it.
Gamingnext – After all of the movies, both engine/tech oriented and pure gameplay, that came from E3 it’s safe to say that all of the gaming world is now clamoring for Half-Life 2. Can you tell us a bit about the technology used to power HL2?
Gabe Newell – I did a presentation on the engine for Vivendi a little while back. It was about 100 pages long, and we got through it in about 4 hours. I’m not sure really how to condense that all down, but I’ll try. We usually break it down into humans, graphics, interactivity, and AI. Now obviously there’s overlap. For example there’s a special shader for people’s teeth. That could go in the graphics section or the humans section. There’s a lot of intelligence in moving creatures over an LOD mesh – so is that AI, interactivity, or graphics? You get the idea.